Background: Viral keratitis is mainly induced by herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV-1 infection-induced acute hepatitis associates with immunodeficiency. Related biomarkers have not been systemically identified till now. This study was designed to explore the molecular mechanisms and potential biomarkers of HSV-1 infection-induced acute hepatitis.
Methods: Microarray dataset GSE35943, including the liver tissues infected by HSV-1 (1, 3, 5, and 7 days post infection) and the corresponding control tissues, was extracted from Gene Expression Omnibus database. The differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified using and were clustered using time series expression analysis. DEG-associated KEGG pathways were called using online DAVID tool. Using Cytoscape software, protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was built and significant network modules were identified.
Results: A total of 2909 DEGs grouping into 3 clusters with similar gene expression profiles were obtained. The DEGs were involved in immune-associated functional terms and pathways like natural killer cell mediated cytotoxicity and antigen processing and presentation. DEGs including PIK3R1, PIK3CD, PLCG2, PTPN6, LCK, RAC2, and PLK1 had higher degrees in the PPI network and 8 significant modules
Conclusion: PIK3R1, PIK3CD, PLCG2, PTPN6, LCK, RAC2 and PLK1 were identified to be associated with HSV-1 corneal infection-induced hepatitis, and might be potential clinical biomarkers for the diagnosis of HSV-1-induced hepatitis.